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2012 hottest year on record2012 hottest year on record

2012 on Track to be Hottest Year on Record

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This should come as a surprise to no one living in the United States.

A recent report from the National Climatic Data Center finds that the first eight months of 2012 were the warmest ever recorded in the U.S.

“The January-August period was the warmest first eight months of any year on record for the contiguous United States,” the agency said. “The national temperature of 58.7 degrees [Fahrenheit] was 4.0 degrees above the 20th century average, and 1.0 degrees above the previous record warm January-August of 2006. During the eight-month period, 33 states were record warm and an additional 12 states were top ten warm. Only Washington had statewide temperatures near average for the period.”

It was the third hottest summer on record since 1895 – with over 4,200 daily warm temperature records broken or tied during August.

As we wrote earlier, some climate scientists are expecting a potentially dangerous winter due to the record ice loss in the Arctic this summer.

Less ice means less of the sun’s energy reflected back into space. Instead, land and sea absorb the heat, leading to more ice melt, and ultimately impacting the jet steam. A study published last year showed Arctic warming causing the jet stream to slow down and become more amplified in a north-south direction. This can lead to more intense and extreme weather events for the U.S. and Europe.

“[The] tendency for weather to hang around longer is going to favor extreme weather conditions that are related to persistent weather patterns,” said climate scientist Jennifer Francis.

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

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